Few resume items command instant respect like the word "veteran." At Rice Business, this respect translates to a major investment in attracting military veterans as students.
Why did you choose Rice Business?
Rice Business is a family of people who are intentional about showing up with empathy and lending their expertise beyond the classroom to ensure that you have a meaningful MBA experience. It was evident from the moment I stepped on campus that this was a space where I could genuinely learn, connect and thrive. Our dean, Peter Rodriguez, would say we are a community striving to strike the perfect balance between IQ and EQ.
What are you most proud of from your time at Rice Business?
In a time when the world seems caught in the grips of racial divide, I am immensely proud that Rice Business has doubled down on its commitment to attract talented students of color. The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management is a non-profit that supports top business schools in building a pipeline of brilliant business leaders from underrepresented backgrounds. Rice Business has invested so intensively in this mission that the number of Consortium fellows has more than doubled over the last two years. As Rice-Consortium chapter president, I've had the honor of leading the school's largest cohort to date. I am inspired daily by our family of fellows, and I am assured that the future of business is in the hands of bright, capable, resilient leaders.
How has your Rice Business experience supported your entrepreneurial or career accomplishments?
Over the summer, I interned with Google in their Googler Experience, Transformation and Strategy space. On my very first day, I was given the green light to help tackle a complex and ambiguous problem that impacted several of the organization’s key stakeholders for years. I was assigned the most amazing team of managers and co-leads to work with at Google and each day they affirmed the value of the work I brought to the table; work that I was uniquely empowered to do because of my Rice education. The mix of strategy and entrepreneurship courses I took in my first year made navigating the ambiguity of a complex space feel natural. Post-graduation I’ll be joining that amazing team at Google full time. I’m elated that a passionate educator can earn an MBA and use the marriage of those skillsets to one day make an impact in tech. The Rice MBA experience has supported me in connecting the dots between my past and my future, and it’s played such an integral role in my personal and professional transformation.
Have you faced racial judgments in a professional setting? If so, what advice do you have for anyone experiencing something similar?
Of course! People always come to the table with pre-conceived notions of who you are and what you bring to the table. I used to feel pressured to prove to certain groups that I belonged in the spaces that I had access to. I’ve since learned that the proof is in the pudding. If you’re there, it’s because you deserve to be. Knowing that gives you the power to take up space without apology and demand decency from the people you interact with on a daily basis.
What suggestions do you have to work with allies within the workplace or at school?
Align with those who support your convictions but also reserve space for those who will respectfully expand your perspective. The key to allyship is advocacy. Cultivate a community that normalizes speaking up on behalf of one-another. The most challenging and rewarding thing about change, is that it can only be accomplished together.